Another “First Morning”: Sights and Sounds of Spring

As I woke the first morning in our new house in Chapel Hill, I wondered how many “first mornings” Doug and I have had since we’ve been married? How many places have we called home? I count at least fourteen houses, almost as many temporary apartments (is two years temporary?), in almost thirty-eight years of marriage. A lot of first mornings after first nights. Each one different, in geography, style, environment, reasons, weather, noise, distractions, mindset, ease.

This week’s first morning in our new home in Chapel Hill was emotionally long in coming, while shorter temporally than others. It’s only been six months since we moved from Asheville, but the winter felt long, the dislocation great, the lack of community ever present. Perhaps I’d pinned too much hope on a place (although, for me, place has always been integral to my being), but this first morning felt different than the last 180 or so mornings in the apartment only a few miles to the east.

The night was quiet and still, stars visible with a crescent moon rising to the west. I woke in the early morning light, which still comes later than I remember, perhaps because we’re only a month into daylight savings time. The sun’s rays sparkled through the pine and birch trees, shadows cast against our eastern windows, as the sky lightened from pale gray to light blue to eggshell blue.

Our house is surrounded by enough native trees, flowers and shrubs to be our personal botanical garden (although I will need help in identifying them all). I sat with my coffee in our new living area and surveyed the emerging flowers and buds visible from every window, their wondrous growth and variety, the myriad shades of green interspersed with paper-thin violet irises, one yellow rose, and pinkish-red azalea.

I quietly walked outside, to check the roses, carefully selected, planted, and lovingly cared for by the house’s prior owners. Ten or twelve bushes, each one bearing rose buds of different hues, light pink, perfect yellow, shades of red, deep lavender, soft orange. I picked a few for my first bouquet—maybe this is what I anticipated and hope with this move, a quiet space, surrounded by green, a place to putter among the myriad North Carolina plants that thrive in this environment. I will try to be patient as I build my community, as my body heals (that old runner’s hamstring once again stopping me in my tracks), as I absorb this (hopefully) final home.

5 thoughts on “Another “First Morning”: Sights and Sounds of Spring”

  1. A big sigh of relief, Pat, as I hear notes of contentment in the voice on these pages. May you be healthy, peaceful and content in this new beginning, and may this one be the place you’re hoping for.

  2. Thank you for so eloquently sharing the flower-filled unfolding of your next chapter. Congratulations on making your way to such a lovely place.


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